Covenant 2 – Bound together in life

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the meaning and making of covenant.


Genesis 15:1-18

1  After these things [after Abraham delivered his nephew Lot by warfare] the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward.”  2  But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”  3  And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.”  4  And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5  And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  6  And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

7  And he said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8  But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9  He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10  And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11  And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12  As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.  13  Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14  But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15  As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16  And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17  When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.  18  On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land…”

Observations and reflection

Note: A covenant made in blood is a pledge or treaty between two parties (such as strong friendships, political agreements etc) which implies the binding of two people together in partnership; the shedding of blood symbolizes the gravity of the agreement, pointing to the death of the one who will break it.

  1. God met with Abraham. How did He introduce Himself to Abraham, and what promise does that imply? (v1)
  2. Abraham had two very basic concerns which he brought to God’s attention (v3, v8)
    1. What was God’s promise regarding these two things? (v5, v18)
  3. Abraham sought security of the promise. How did God grant security? (v18a)
    1. In simple words describe what God did during the covenant ceremony.
    2. What did Abraham do during this ceremony?
  4. Usually in such a covenant ceremony the lessor party would walk between the cut animals to indicate that if the terms of covenant is broken, it will result in death.
    1. Who walked between the sacrifice in this instance?
    2. What does that reveal about God’s character?
    3. What does that reveal about God’s covenant with Abraham and his offspring? [hint: Who died 2000 years later on a hill not far from there?]

Personal reflection and Prayer

The substitutionary death of Christ was ultimately the price God paid on behalf of man’s breaking of covenant with Him.  In that way God made peace between us and Him.

  1. Consider the very personal motive and content of the covenant God made with Abraham (an heir and property to leave as inheritance). How does your relationship with God compare to the authenticity and intimacy of Abraham relationship with God?
  2. This Text began in a vision where God made a very personal, covenantal commitment to Abraham. Have you ever had such a vision or dream where God spoke to you? Recall those moments and reflect on those conversations. (If you have never had such an encounter – ask God for such a meeting).
  3. Consider God’s part in this relational initiative – from beginning to end He initiated everything.  How does that compare to your view and experience of God?
  4. Pray about your covenant relationship with God in Christ in light of God’s covenant with Abraham.
    1. Thank God for initiating and fulfilling this covenant relationship you have through the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ our Lord. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
    2. Ask God to reveal Himself to you as He did to Abraham (in Genesis 15:1).
    3. Now as Abraham did, in sincerity and forthrightness bring your deepest desires and fears to God, then wait for His answer.
    4. Before you go on with your day, renew your loyalty and devotion to Him. You might do this by asking Him what is His heart or what are the things He desires most. Wait for His answer and pray about that.

Worship 1 – surrendering all to God

The Aim of this devotional study is to study the first mention of worship in the Bible.


Genesis 22:1-6

1  After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”  2  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

3  So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

4  On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.  5  Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”  6  And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.


Context: This is the beginning of the historic event where Abraham obeyed God and offered Isaac went to offer his son Isaac, before the Lord intervened. 

  1. When someone invite you to a worship celebration, what do you expect?
  2. This is the first mention of “worship” in the Bible. What other words would you use to describe Abraham’s attitudes and activities in response to God’s command?
  3. Look at Abraham’s response to God’s command
    1. How soon after God commanend this big sacrifice did Abraham obey? What does that say about his devotion to God?
    2. How long did Abraham journey to obey God? What does that say about his devotion to God?
    3. What efforts did Abraham make to obey God? What does that say about his devotion to God?
  4. Considering this text, what do you learn of Abraham’s worship in terms of:
    1. Surrendering all to God.
    2. Obedience to God.
    3. Faith in God.
    4. Devotion to God.

Application and Prayer

God asked Abraham for the biggest and most precious thing in life – Isaac, his son, his legacy.   And Abraham worshipped God by implicit, radical surrender and obedience.

  1. What is the ONE thing in your life that – if God asks you to do or to give up – you might be tempted to say “no”?
    1. Honestly tell God how you feel about that.
    2. As Abraham, reflect on God as the “Giver of All Good Things” that gave this and can bring it back to life again.
    3. Ask God for grace to surrender even this to Him, and when you’re ready – surrender this thing to God from the heart.
  2. In prayer, worship God by surrendering every aspect of your life to God, devoting your whole self in service to Him, as Paul wrote:

Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”